Topsoil moisture depleted rapidly last week with only scattered showers occurring across Indiana and other parts of the Corn Belt, according to the Indiana Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Irrigation systems were running full force to try to keep up with the lack of rainfall. Some corn fields on light, well drained soils are showing signs of stress because of the dry conditions. Soybeans are in need of a good soaking rain to help with pod fill. Harvest of processing tomatoes and corn silage has begun in a few areas. Pasture and hay conditions are beginning to deteriorate due to the lack of moisture.

Field Crops Report

There were 6.5 days suitable for field work during the week. Seventy-seven percent of the corn acreage is in the dough stage compared with 95 percent last year and 82 percent for the 5-year average. Twenty-two percent of the corn acreage is in the dent stage compared with 71 percent last year and 42 percent for the 5-year average. By area, 23 percent of the corn acreage is in the dent stage in the north, 20% in the central region, and 24% in the south. Corn condition is rated 72 percent good to excellent compared with 10 percent last year at this time.

Ninety-eight percent of the soybean acreage is blooming compared with 100 percent last year and 98 percent for the 5-year average. Eighty-eight percent of the soybean acreage is setting pods compared with 97 percent last year and 87 percent for the 5-year average. Soybean condition is rated 67 percent good to excellent compared with 23 percent last year.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report

Livestock remained in mostly good condition due to the relatively mild temperatures. Pasture condition declined during the week but is still rated 51 percent good to excellent compared with only 7 percent last year at this time. The third cutting of alfalfa is 82 percent complete compared with 85 percent last year and 73 percent for the 5-year average.